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Grace Wales Bonner designs costumes for The National Youth Dance Company

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Sadler’s Wells, by Jack Thomson; Grace Wales Bonner for Wayne McGregor’s ‘Novacene’

Fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner has collaborated with The National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) on custom costumes for Wayne McGregor’s ‘Novacene,’ which premiered at The Lowry in Manchester this weekend, before heading to Sadler’s Wells Theatre on June 3 in London, followed by a UK tour.

Wales Bonner has designed costumes for the 34 young dancers that make up this year’s NYDC. The outfits feature tracksuits, T-shirts, and vests in white with red accent detailing and were worn to perform McGregor’s Novacene’ based on the 2019 book ‘Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence’ by scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock.

Commenting on the honour, Wales Bonner said in a statement: “I have always been inspired by the rich and expressive gestures of dance in designing silhouettes, so it has been a great pleasure to collaborate with NYDC and Wayne McGregor. I hope these custom Wales Bonner pieces allow the young artists to shine with their full individuality and energy.”

McGregor, who is this year’s NYDC guest artistic director and Sadler’s Wells associate artist, added: “NYDC is delighted to be collaborating with Grace Wales Bonner and her team for Novacene – a new dance work that celebrates the dynamic and breathtakingly individual talents of the company.

“As guest artistic director this year, I wanted these young artists to experience the full range of creative power that converges to create work. Grace’s imagination, style and contemporary vision speaks to us all and having her and the team work hands on with our young artists is nothing short of inspirational.”

McGregor will also be working with Burberry’s new chief creative officer Daniel Lee to create the costumes for his latest work for The Royal Ballet, an as-yet-untitled production, which will debut on June 9.

Grace Wales Bonner